John Donner

1825–1917 (Age 91)
Mainz, Mainz, Hessen, Germany

The Life of John

When John Donner was born on 4 August 1825, in Mainz, Mainz, Hessen, Germany, his father, Peter Donner, was 35 and his mother, Barbara Naffziger, was 30. He married Sarah Burwell on 5 August 1850, in Tazewell, Illinois, United States. They were the parents of at least 3 sons and 7 daughters. He lived in Hittle Township, Tazewell, Illinois, United States in 1860 and Clayton, Contra Costa, California, United States in 1880. He died on 23 May 1917, in Walnut Creek, Contra Costa, California, United States, at the age of 91, and was buried in Lafayette Cemetery, Lafayette, Contra Costa, California, United States.

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Family Time Line

John Donner
Sarah Burwell
Marriage: 5 August 1850
Jonathan Donner Jr.
Hiram S. Donner
Mary Jane Jennie Donner
Elizabeth Donner
Hattie Esther Donner
Franklin Donner
Ella Donner
Emma Florence Donner
Olive Donner
Julietta Donner

Spouse & Children

  • Male1825–1917Male

  • Sarah Burwell


5 August 1850
Tazewell, Illinois, United States


  • Jonathan Donner Jr.


  • Hiram S. Donner


  • Mary Jane Jennie Donner


  • Elizabeth Donner


  • Hattie Esther Donner


+5 More Children

Parents & Siblings



  • Peter Donner Jr


  • Male1820–1897Male

  • Christian Donner


  • Male1825–1917Male

  • Joseph William Donner


+3 More Children

World Events (8)

1830 · The Second Great Awakening

Age 5

Being a second spiritual and religious awakening, like the First Great Awakening, many Churches began to spring up from other denominations. Many people began to rapidly join the Baptist and Methodist congregations. Many converts to these religions believed that the Awakening was the precursor of a new millennial age.
1832 · Black Hawk War

Age 7

"The Black Hawk War was a brief conflict between the United States and Native Americans led by Black Hawk, a Sauk leader. The war erupted soon after Black Hawk and a group of other tribes, known as the ""British Band"", crossed the Mississippi River, into Illinois, from Iowa Indian Territory in April 1832. Black Hawk's motives were ambiguous, but records show that he was hoping to avoid bloodshed while resettling on tribal land that had been given to the United States in the 1804 Treaty of St. Louis."
1850 · California Is Admitted to Union

Age 25

California was admitted into the Union on September 9, 1850, and became the 31st state.

Name Meaning

1 German: nickname for a loud or irascible man, from Middle High German doner ‘thunder’ (Old High German thonar).2 Jewish (Ashkenazic): ornamental adoption of German Donner ‘thunder’.

Possible Related Names

Dictionary of American Family Names © Patrick Hanks 2003, 2006.

Sources (3)

  • John Doner, "United States Census, 1860"
  • John Donner, "United States Census, 1900"
  • John Donner, "United States Census, 1880"

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